Peak Oil Update

PEAK OIL UPDATE….Suart Staniford has an interesting followup to his summary of the peak oil discussion at last week’s meeting of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil. Basically, there’s good news and bad news:

  • The bad news is increasing evidence that the decline rate for existing oil fields might be close to 8% per year, not the 3-6% per year everyone’s been assuming. If that’s the case, then new discoveries won’t come close to matching the decline from existing fields, and oil production will peak in the very near future.

  • The good news comes from Henry Groppe. He believes that oil production is near peak, but points out that about 25% of the world’s oil production is currently used for heat and power generation, mostly in developing countries. The U.S. and Europe switched almost all their heat and power generation to coal and natural gas (and nuclear) in the 70s, and it’s probable that developing countries will do the same if oil prices stay high. This gives the world a bit of headroom on the demand side, even if oil production does peak in the near future.

That’s all. I just wanted to pass along the latest news on the peak oil front.